POEMS ABOUT VIOLINS AND VIOLINISTS

BY LESSER-KNOWN POETS






I Went to the Forest to Find a Violin
Gilbert Pangyarihan

I went to the forest to find a violin;
I did not rest; I did not lean.
And lo! On a hill in Tanay,
I saw with a smile unspoilt trees still lie.
I saw two mighty Dungon trees
With wood despised by bees;
Oh, the base takes ten men to embrace!
One has a hawk's nest on its crest.
I saw, I saw the black Ibano,
Good for the fingerboard,
And also the robust Da-o,
A haven for the bored.
Each has a meter in diameter.
I saw, I saw the pliant Kalantas
And also the pearly Almaciga
For the violin belly, they'll pass.
I saw, I saw the towering Antipolo,
Good for the back, neck and sides,
And also the sturdy Madre Cacao,
Good for the violin bow.
I saw, I saw the fair Agoho,
Good too for the violin belly,
And also the bloody Tindalo
I should know,
For someone just used a saw.
I saw, I saw but did not saw
The thriving Lauan,
The triumphant Bagtikan,
And the noble Mulawin
Remnants of the War of Darwin
And the vanity of man.
I went to the forest to find a violin;
I did my best but did not win,
For, alas, in the rest of Tanay,
I saw with a sigh
No more trees to sing a lullaby.



My Violin
Bruce Lansky

My mom brought home a violin
so I could learn to play.
She told me if I practiced hard
I'd play it well someday.

Without a single lesson,
I tried to play a song.
My fiddle squeaked, my fiddle squawked.
The notes came out all wrong.

My little brother fled the room.
Mom covered up her ears.
My puppy dog began to howl.
My sister was in tears.

My dad pulled out his wallet.
He handed me a ten.
He made me swear I'd never play
that violin again.



Violin
Mary Barnett

sound-post broken
disintegrated glue
loosened tarnished strings
that shall never sing again
this violin upon my wall
too fragile to play
it lays silent
but while my mother lived
this violin lived too
and the bow across it
in its glory days
too well do I remember
the sounds
harmony and laughter
melody
sweet, its lullabies
and angry, crashing Wagner -
for it knew many songs
"Impossible to repair",
the luthier says
so I gaze upon it
and in my memory
I see the motion of the bow
hear the magic resonance
feel the enchantment
of the music
it once made



I Saw You In His Eyes
Cora Fazio

Walking along a busy street,
I saw a small boy playing the violin.
Looking down on the sidewalk,
I saw his basket with a few coins.
Searching my pockets for what was
within.
I placed all I had into his basket.
And I wondered about his story.
His hair so black, his eyes so brown.
Jeans toren at the knees with many patches.
His violin screaching out an ackward tune.
I felt my heart bleed as
I saw you in his eyes.
And I wished I could take him home.



The Song
Eluin Estel

The father looked up at his son,
Gazing straight into his eyes,
"To deserve this, what have I done?"
He thought as he nodded twice.

"I do have one condition, though,
If I am to listen to your song,
This term you must swear to follow
Or I won't listen for long."

"Name the term," the son did say,
Wondering what it would be,
Perhaps, "Don't disturb me another day?"
No, that was too far fetched to be.

"Sing along with your violin, my boy,
I feel that instrument's your best,
In your hands that thing is just a toy
Under your chin, please let it rest.'

The singer brought his violin out
And sang his very best,
After all, his father, without a doubt,
Did deserve the crest.

The song slowly came to a close,
And as he put his violin down,
From his seat, the father arose,
And approached him with a frown.

Upon the singer's face he found
Some hair out of place,
Gently, without making a sound,
He pushed it back with grace.

It was just a mere excuse
For the father to stroke his hair,
Something that was out of use
Yet familiarised right there.

"I must apologise," the father said,
"For being so stony faced and bare,
That you thought I didn't bother -
In truth, my son, I care."

"You asked me to listen to your song -
Many times have I already done it.
I appreciated you; I know I was wrong
In not letting you see it."

"I love your voice, my son," said he,
"I love you better still,
If I seemed cold hearted, forgive me,
I know I must change, I will."



The Fiddler
Lola Ridge

In a little Hungarian café
Men and women are drinking
Yellow wine in tall goblets

Through the milky haze of smoke,
The fiddler, undersized, blond,
Leans to his violin
As to the breast of a woman.
Red hair kindles to fire
On the black of his coat-sleeve,
Where his white, thin hand
Trembles and dives,
Like a sliver of moonlight,
When wind has broken the water.



Playing the Strings (Hot Resin over the G String)
Eila Mahima Jaipaul

Just one touch of the bow sent shivers
across the strings of her violin as she
began to sing her melody of passion.
Soft and gentle it stroked until she was
giving off notes an octave above euphoria.
the cadence of the bow escalated
beginning to see saw it's way
deep in reverberating tones
The hair of the bow began to smoke as
it melted the hot resin over her G string.



Underground
Cecilia Parkin

I walked the underpass and round
the corner - came a sound
so sweet as from a Concert Hall
but this facade - grafitti walls.

No concert artist - finely clad
had more style than Busker Lad.
With violin and bow as one
the sonorous sounds went on and on-.

In minds eye - my fingers matched his own,
my anorak - a golden gown!
And as the last sounds died away
there were no words that I could say.

He looked at me across the void
made a bow, I gave a smile.
Age no divide - just for a while -
Knowing we had briefly shared
another time, another world.



Artemis
John C. Newton

Her room
a chasm
a waiting space.
The emptiness
is daunting.

Opened,
Her violin case,
a ring of sound -
Pizzicato.
Clips of memory
and perfume -
Largo.

Moist eyed
I turn the corner.
Soft light
washes in.
Above me,
on the ceiling:
Bright and
Shining stars,
Her firmament.

She who lived
and loved here
Lingers still.



11. Dies Irae
John Kay

I've turned my winter sweater inside-out
to conceal a Star of David under the sleeve,

and carefully threading the heart of darkness,
one hour after curfew, on my way home,

I lift my eyes to the scribbled SS etched on his hat,
death stars spit into a narrow obsidian sky.

He picks me up, holds me close to his chest,
and paralyzed by the dragon swallowing me,

I tremble as we seem to waltz about the street,
the corners of his medals jabbing as he hugs me.

Then he opens his wallet and shows me a photo
of a boy my age balancing a violin on his knee.



I Caught the Arrow of Longfellow [excerpt]
Gilbert Pangyarihan

I have no sight so keen and strong,
But I have ears to play the song;
Nor have I sight so strong and keen,
But I can play the violin.



Violin
Jade chiKahn

Call me crazy
I've got a friend
Doesn't have any of the five senses
Can't walk, can't breathe
It's not a male or female
I've got a friend
It's name is Violin
It's got music stored inside its soul
I'm the one who brings it out
Without me, it'd be nothing
A hard, wooden piece of junk
I give it life
I bring out the beautiful noise that's hidden
I give it life
This is my friend, it brings out my talent
The talent of mine that's hidden
It brings it out
I'm so lucky
Thanks to God for bringing us together
I'm so blessed to have a friend like my Violin
What would I do without it?



The Violins
Ballerina with Fins

A faint humming;

Violins. Beautiful, intellectual
Violins; velvet strings singing
intoxicating melodies into the
gentle night, so soft,
yet so loud.

Sharp, yet soothing,
and oh so powerful.

Sleek gloss over smooth wall,
rich, comely violin, emitting
sharp notes cutting enough
to shred dark fabric.

Now a boat, rocking so
gently, lullingly. The
sea is calm.

A hand sliding across
silk, a soft sweep, a
violent lurch; a
violin.



Play
Raquel Jean-Joseph

The Violin is my summoner, I am the summomed. My soul is on fire, and so are his eyes. They burn with fury, fury of loneliness and sorrow. All is full of love, gleaming with bright colors that holds me. The wind is blowing fiercely. The leaves on the tree falls, falling upon him. I am beckoned to the call of the violin. Sweet melodic sounds play at my ears. They bleed with the joy of the melancholy, with the quiet sounds of tears and laughter. The violin is my master. I am its slave.



The Blind Fiddler
David Samuel Thomas

When I walk with the blind fiddler,
I sometimes close my eyes,
pretending to be without sight,
allowing him to lead me.

Mama told me not to go near the fiddler.
His breath reeks of whisky,
he curses and wears rags,
sleeps God knows where.

Mama says the fiddler
plays the devil's music-
it sounds like a baby crying,
or two roosters fighting.

When the blind fiddler plays,
I hear honey-bees buzzing,
the neighbor cat singing,
or Mama and Papa in bed at night.

The fiddler needs me
to help him down the street.
I hold my hat out for coins,
dance barefoot with my eyes closed.



The Fiddler of Rome
Jeremy Hobbs

He sits upon the green hills that surround Rome,
he sees its horror and the pain that takes place behind its
gates of wire,
and he plays his violin for the living and dead of that famed
city.

His songs can be heard in the hearts of those who believe,
his old fiddle can be seen in the form of memories,
his songs transcend beyond the gates of wire,
the melody of his voice atop that small green field can be seen
in the form of hope,
hope for better days that will not come to most.

He can be seen by those who lie in Rome,
with those who have hope,
when they lie in their beds,
fearing for their life,
while those who have lost hope snicker,
for they see no fiddler,
for they have lost what the Fiddler of Rome embodies.

To some his songs bring sanctification of the soul,
to some it is a death march for those who have lost hope
and have already passed into the comforting rhythm of his waltz
before the fall.

He plays for those lost to the pits of Rome,
amidst the stares of those who perservere,
who consider him a god in a world of lost religion,
and he plays for those who disbelieve,
for those who can only laugh and say -

'How can he sit and watch while we die?'

To those who believe it is not that he watches,
but gives comfort to those who would be dead
if it were not for him.

And when the gates of Rome are shattered,
when that great city is set afire,
he will still be seen in the distance,
amidst the smoke and ashes,
playing a song of hope,
playing while Rome burns,
playing that same song that evoked such painful memories,
the same memories that brought comfort to all the huddled
masses that now leave their barracks of wood
and step upon the ground they worshiped as Heaven
when they lived beyond the gates of Hell.

And when they step upon that same green pasture of Rome,
they all will hear the playing of the Fiddler of Rome
and look at his green hill that tortured them while they
were in Rome,
they will step upon the earth once again and climb the
Fiddler's hill,
but shall see him no more.



The Gypsi Violin
Munda Schram

The compelling violin lures
With an irresistible yearn
Dance, dance, please dance for me
I can no longer adjourn!

Ethereal notes float from its strings
Caressing like a lover's hand
Sensual music, Angel's touch
Leading the way to wonderland

Embracing with utter delight
Craving, beckoning me
Tempting my lonely heart
Dance, dance on my melody!

Faster, faster the music escapes
Without compassion to body or soul
Seducer of lonely hearts
Until dancing is my only goal

Faces gyrate while I dance on passion
Flashes of fire in the corner of my eyes
The violin plays like never before
Until I become one and loneliness dies

With a final cry and a final touch
The violin stops, the music ends
Leaving behind an emptiness
We'll meet again, my violin friend



The Fiddler
James

A waltzin he is! a fiddler he is!
A waltzin to the door! the Gryphon tavern's door!
A waltzin inside to play a tune! An old sweet tune!
A Waltzin and a waitin for his old bonny sweetheart!

A playin a tune he is! A magical tune it is!
A playin a mad fiddle he is! An ancient one it is!
A Playin for and audience he is! A cheerful one it is!
A playin fer his bonny sweetheart he is! a very fien girl she is!

A singin he is! Of dragon's and knights!
A singin he is! Of love and war he is!
A singin of his love he is! A very fine love she is!
A singin of love he is! Such sweet love it is!

A dancing he is! For his love that is!
A waltzin to his love he is! A very fine love she is!
A playing he is! A mad fiddle it is!
A askin he is! If his love will marry him?



Come Lasses and Lads
Anonymous

Come lasses and lads, get leave of your dads,
And away to the Maypole hie,
For every he has got him a she,
And the fiddler's standing by;
For Willie shall dance with Jane,
And Johnny has got his Joan,
To trip it, trip it, trip it, trip it,
Trip it up and down.

To trip it, trip it, trip it, trip it,
Trip it, up and down.

"You're out", says Dick; "Not I", says Nick,
"Twas the fiddler played it wrong;"
"Tis true", says Hugh, and so says Sue,
And so says every one.
The fiddler then began
To play the tune again,
And every girl did trip it, trip it,
Trip it to the men.

And every girl did trip it, trip it,
Trip it to the men.

And there they sat until it was late,
And tired the fiddler quite
With singing and playing, without any paying,
From morning, until night.
They told the fiddler then,
They'd pay him for his play,
And each a twopence, twopence, twopence,
Gave him and went away.

And each a twopence, twopence, twopence,
Gave him and went away.



Violin Concerto in D Major [based on Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 35: Canzonetta: Andante]
Frenchie


The first strains of aching vibrato
Awaken a stirring in my soul
As each crescendo swells I feel
Soothed and enthralled by the melodious tones
Ever so subtly, it builds
To a climactic moment of sound and passion!
I do not fall from these ecstatic heights
But gently float back down with gentle notes
To sweet slumber in my mundane surroundings
Memories of beauty and pain
Filtering through my dreams



The Throat of God's Violin
Tanika L. Bailey-Anderson

The bow strikes the violin with such vengeance, it forces a shrill sound out.

Then the violin hits back with a sharpness of fury and a streak of color.

The music bombards silence, and demands attention.

It hits ears with the power of lightning
and the softness of a butterfly,
making music tornadoes and a storm of sound waves.

The bow lashes out like a cow's whip against the violin with precision.

They collide and there's an immense musical explosion, That sounds like a rolling of thunder.

Suddenly there's silence.

Then a slight melody is drawn from
the throat of God's violin.

The music is so fulfilling that it taste
of nectarine during the summer, and has the sweet aroma of lilies under the
mornings dew.

And this is what happens when God plays his violin; Man and Woman unite, there's a crack, a roll of Thunder and then a murmur of love.



Summertime: IV (excerpt)
Elsa Conkling

VI

The violin makes brown music,
Brown like bees and honey,
Gold like the sun.
Oh, my violin!



Violin Concerto
Harris

This is flight.
Soaring, plunging, spinning and turning.
Lighter, evaporate in air,
I cease to exist, I am light.

Rhythm elates me, spins me, holds me,
Makes me spit laughter in delight.

Breath quivers,
Held slave to the motion,
Soul crumples,
In thrall to this siren.

My heart and head are led tumbling
On a wheeling mystical ocean.

I cry. Shaking tears
Full of lovely, lonely tragic nights.

Life repeats back through distant time.
Each beat of time, a life of experience.
Moments of infinite. Infinite moments.
The beginning and ending of the fight.

This is light.



Her Violin Played
JRB

She walked the ridge of twelve-mile creek
at evenings end each day.
I would hear her ore the meadow,
The many songs she loved to play.
The violin was her lover,
Companion for her searching soul.
She played with all the feeling in her,
To the valley far below.
In pitch her notes rang out their beauty,
Her bow in fever played the songs.
Bach's concerto in D minor,
Made love to her all evening long.
The classics were her favorite lovers,
In sweated play she had them all.
Drunken by the music's flavor,
And every note she could recall.
Perhaps adagio or allegro,
Or any tempo in between.
She found the mystery of the pieces,
Painted them with notes unseen.
Her passion rose toward each ending,
A climax of perfected play,
And I would listen so intently,
For every note that came my way.

The valleys quiet of her music,
Which graced the ridge for many years.
I search for notes now never spoken,
Which will not come unto my ears.
Where she's gone were left to wonder,
And why her music plays no more.
Now every evening there's just silence,
Playing on this valleys floor.

What I would give for one rendition,
From her poetic soul which lived.
High above our little valley,
But plays no more from top the ridge.



(His fingers hovered above the strings)
Victor Jones

His fingers hovered above the strings
He tapped the hollow wood
Winding the pegs hands trembling
He tuned her as best he could

A minute passed like an hour
As silence heightened suspension
The first staccato notes were sour
But served to sharpen the tension

Suddenly full-throated tones escape
Sounds of base note strings drag and scrape
Then high notes arise, shimmer and shrill
Pumped by alchemy with fiddle

As torrents of melody raged and rolled
He twisted, bended, swayed
To music savage and uncontrolled
It led and he obeyed

Perfection, fluid, torturous, entire
And yet the speed increased
Becoming shriller, faster, higher
Sound throttled and released

The music reaches impossible peaks
The violin insists the violin speaks
Not merely singing but telling a tale
What fugues of terror what haunting wail

Virtuosity divine, beauty terrible,
Combining logic pure and feeling
Driving past the limits of what is bearable
I back away, cowering, reeling

A new element of mockery infects
Staggering the melody's beat
Yet syncopation the song perfects
Not it's all the more bitter-sweet

And is screams and it sobs and it sings
Of horror and of pain
Of souls rebellion against all things
And of lives lived in vain

Up to the surface came my tears
Hot, wet throbbing,
And if I hadn't stopped my ears
I knew I would start sobbing

He was swinging to and fro
As if the violin was a beast
Stabbing the strings with his bow
But still the music never ceased.



Concert Haiku [excerpt]
Hari Srinivas

Bow glides on the strings
The wind stops to listen
Moonbeams shiver with joy!
...and Makiko on the violin!



Beethoven's Violin Concerto
Stan Hedges

The startled lark arises, leaves her bed
of songs in embryo, soars over the lea
as pure sound, a healing salve of minstrelsy.
Now decoyed, distracted, one careless tread
might end a thousand joys, but I'm alerted.
I know her skill, dissembling mastery,
down and grass turned to woven mystery.
I'll bargain, stand still while my spirit's fed.

His blinded larks sang not from vanity
but fear, the man boasted. Unjust, you thought.
Then fate set fair to blast the one possession
keeping you sane. Did fear of losing sanity
send larks to you again? Was it they who taught:
make sound from silence your one obsession?



Paganini and the Devil
Romy

When his bow began to move,
the earth began to wake.
Thousands upon thousands of heartstrings resounded,
resounded to rhythm and melody.
(Quick, scream the strings, quicker, quickest!
The notes stumble over each other,
a pure and jumbled clarity.)

When his strings began to sound,
the earth began to dance.
The ground trembled, broke in half,
split asunder, brought forth the Devil.
Red and black and bright he gleamed,
stepped to the master's elbow
and watched the malformed fingers.

(When he is dying,
the master sees the devil's grin
in the corner of the room,
and swears he is not done for yet.
As long as his comrade is there,
he knows he will live.
He sends the priest away.)

When the notes came to a halt,
the universe breathed out,
a long rush of silence.
Men wept for such sanctification.

(The devil steps forward,
the grin still in place,
and takes the man's slack fingers
in his own.)



Paganini
Teflon

To Bach I stroke her
Alpine spruce sings soprano
My dear violin!




Tuning
Sallie Howson

I take the tool of my trade
And stand next to the piano.
I hit a few keys at random,
Just to break the silence.
Then I strike the note I want
La la la la la
The perfect A awakens my brain
And I raise my violin lovingly to my chin.
I pluck the second string.
Too slack
The note assaults my ears.
To tighten it up
I twist the peg
And feel the tension rise.
Not sure if it's right or not
I test it with the piano.
La la la la la.
I can not reach that perfect note.
Sometimes I stress the string so much
It snaps
And in my frustration
I abandon my beloved instrument
On the sofa
Until
I can trust myself with it again.
This time
My patience stays with me
As I test it again and again
Till I have the allusive A.
From there
I tackle the other strings
Two by two
And finally I am satisfied
They are all in tune.
Then
And only then
I take up my bow,
Close my eyes
Draw horsehair over taut steel
And what fills the room
Is pure poetry.



Played from the Heart
Duncan Wyllie

And when the war was over
The pounding had to cease
Looking out from mudded trench
They sat there in such peace

They needed to express this
To bring it to a close
A feeling deep inside
One that really glows

So they called upon the minstrel
The one who carried no gun
And asked him if he could play a tune
Now that the war was done

He pulled his beloved violin
From an old and dusty case
And tried to play a tune
A feeling to replace

But something didn't happen
What was it that was wrong?
Was a string here out of tune?
Why couldn't they hear its song?

The minstrel sat and shrugged his shoulders
It's always worked before
When ever there'd been pain or strife
The people would beg for more

The men's faces now on the field
Looked with an aching heart, so sore
As if all hope was gone, no yield
For these broken men of war

Then the old minstrel said
I know the problem here
First you must trust me though
And hold a memory dear

One that you held through the storm
Through the battle and the rage
Like a photo of your sweethearts face
Your albums favorite page

The men now closed their eyes
And the water fell like a river
Shaking uncontrollably some
But the tune it would deliver

The minstrel played it from the heart
For he had felt guilty of their pain
For all through the war, no bullet
Had reached his tiny frame

They knew what he was thinking
And as he would continue to play
They gave a look of such love and thanks
For saving them that day.



Pik Uk Symphony [excerpt]
Gilbert Pangyarihan

I'm at heart an artist;
Actually, I'm a violinist
With a rheumatic wrist.
So sans a violin
I just let my mind spin,
And words come drizzling in
Like a staccato on my string.



Gemini [excerpt]
Shirley Spycalla

And sometimes,
I sing, on high, duets with my celestial twin
while music flows from a million-dollar violin.



full of violins
Gershon Hepner

Heavens full of violins
please the angels, you should know,
plucking them to mark our sins,
rarely picking up a bow.

Mournfully they play, no sharps
or flats, until they put aside
fiddles, when they play their harps
that console us once we've died.



Of Many Names [excerpt]
Tears in Rain

I am an old spruce violin
Gathering dust
Kept just in this case



The Gypsy Violin
Amberlee Spurling

The compelling violin lures
With an irresistible yearn
Dance, dance, please dance for me
I can no longer adjourn!

Ethereal notes float from its strings
Caressing like a lover's hand
Sensual music, Angel's touch
Leading the way to wonderland

Embracing with utter delight
Craving, beckoning me
Tempting my lonely heart
Dance, dance on my melody!

Faster, faster the music escapes
Without compassion to body or soul
Seducer of lonely hearts
Until dancing is my only goal

Faces gyrate while I dance on passion
Flashes of fire in the corner of my eyes
The violin plays like never before
Until I become one and loneliness dies

With a final cry and a final touch
The violin stops, the music ends
Leaving behind an emptiness
We'll meet again, my violin friend



The Violin
Unscathed

This is how I feel when a violin makes music. There is misery, and anguish attached to its strings. There is hope and peace among its bow. The two make friends, and come together to perform the most perfect tragedy. LIFE. The sound of this melody, this enchantment...this complete sorrow and content undoing of every past and present emotion tells stories. Close your eyes...you can see the wind rushing across the lake. Headed nowhere, but just moving. You can see dirty, scared children on the porch looking off into a destructed feild where the storm left them orphans. You can hear windchimes. Lost souls. You can hear laughter, and tears. Close your eyes and let the music tell you stories. There is more that a note in this song. The Violin is just how heaven sings to Christ Jesus. Voiceless. Wordless. But complete. Where tragedy's strings meet melody's bow. Where peace on its bow meets melody's strings. Voiceless. Wordless. But completely full of every story. Every soul. Every song. And every note. I'm convinced that each time I listen and close my eyes. My soul is taken to heaven, and given to a musicians ear...and written on the very strings, and very bow of a telented hand. A godly heart listens. A righteous man knows. God is speaking. Sing His notes, little Violin. What a beautiful task you own. What a mystery you bestow. Little Violin. Where Life's strings meet your bow.



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